Agave: Too Good to be True
Grown in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest, the agave plant resembles a cactus but is actually a member of the asparagus family. There are many different cultivars, and the syrup is produced from only a few of these. When in flower, the agave plant can reach a height of 25ft!
Pictured above: Agave americana. (Source: Plant Rescue)
Love Tequila? Look for 100% agave on the label!
Tequila is made by extracting and fermenting the juice from the core of the agave plant, which is high in sugar. Unlike agave syrup, which is processed, tequila is a live food and the natural sugars present in the plant are used as fuel during the fermentation process. That is not to say all tequila is sugar free! U.S. regulations allow tequila companies to add sugar to their final product, whereas Mexican tequila distributors are prevented from making tequila with anything other than the blue weber agave plant. When purchasing tequila, look for 100% agave on the label!
Let’s have a quick recap on fructose & glucose.
Agave is 2:1 ratio of fructose to glucose.
The Bottom Line:
Don’t fall for the hype! Just because agave is frequently used at your local, organic juice shop, doesn’t mean its healthier than sugar. Beware of agave marketing claims. Like all sugar, agave consumption should be very limited.
“10 Reasons Why Fructose Is Bad | Paleo Leap.” Paleo Leap | Paleo Diet Recipes & Tips, 4 Feb. 2017, paleoleap.com/10-reasons-why-fructose-is-bad/.
Horton, Jenn. “The Truth About Agave.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-agave#1.
Johannes, Laura. “Agave Syrup May Not Be So Simple.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 27 Oct. 2009,
Tremblay, MSc Sylvie. “Which Types of Hard Alcohol Have No Sugars or Carbs?”LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 24 July 2016.